The ridgecrest in this portion of the Bigelow Range, near the Horns, is higher, at around 3500 feet, and it was quite snowy and icy. Foot-grip aid was required, and so we donned our yaktrax. I'm starting to find that although they work well, these yaktrax aren't very durable. One of mine is (again) starting to fall apart.
With the twin summits of the Horns now looming much closer, we arrived at a superb lookout. Down below, nestled at the base of the Horns, was Horns Pond - quite frozen it was, too. The Horns Pond campsite was down somewhere there, too, and it was high time we got there - it was getting on in the afternoon.
It was a short little hike down into the flat area surrounding the pond, and soon we were at the Horns Pond lean-tos. I had seen some tracks in the snow on the trail, and I was wondering if perhaps we might have company, but no - the place was empty. We had the two huge lean-tos to ourselves.
We had originally thought to filter water from Horns Pond, but upon seeing how cold it was and how frozen the lake was, we realized that the filter would probably freeze up within the first minute of operation. We did a quick assessment of our water, and felt that we could make it to the end of tomorrow's hike on what we had.
We immediately piled into our sleeping bags and got out of the cold. After about half an hour of this, I noticed beautiful ruddy sunlight up on South Horn, which we could see far above the lean-to. I imagined what that might look like back at the last lookout, and I convinced my body to go back out into the cold and run back up to the lookout. It was indeed pretty spectacular, and I got the last rays of the sun on North and South Horn. Even better were the after sunset shots I got at Horns Pond, which were stunning, with beautiful blood reds and deep blues. Satisfied with the sights I'd seen, I hurried back to the Lean-tos and the warmth of my sleeping bag.
Evening light on South Horn
Fire and Ice
I've never been one to enjoy over-sleeping. But that's just what we had to do, given that it was only 5pm or so. We had a solid 11 to 12 hours of forced bedtime ahead of us, and I complained about possible stir-craziness. After a cold dinner of cheese and tomato pizza buns, we hit the sack. That is, until the sawing started.
Let me tell you - Ewart can cut the logs. Whole cords of wood. We tried shushing; we tried poking; nothing worked for more than a few minutes. Then, finally, at about 7pm - 2 hours after going to bed - I told Jenn that we should just move ourselves to the other lean-to, which would be out of earshot of Ewart's snoring. This we did, in the -15C temperatures, but it was worth it: we now had peace and quiet!